by Don  

One of the Russian words for cloud is облако. In the singular it is a perfectly regular neuter noun, but in the plural genitive may surprise you:


Some sample sentences:

Посмотри на эти красивые облака. Какой замечательный день! Look at those beautiful clouds. It's such a wonderful day.
Солнце скрылось за облаками. The sun hid behind the clouds.
Самолёт улетел за облако. The airplane flew behind the cloud.
Во сне я стоял на облаке и смотрел вниз на свой дом. In my dream I was standing on a cloud looking down upon my home.

Most simple nouns have one or more adjectives derived from them, and to really master Russian you need to learn them as well. In the case of облако the derived adjective is облачный:

Маша выходит на улицу только при облачной погоде, потому что она не любит потеть. Masha goes outside only in cloudy weather because she doesn't like to sweat.
Такое облачное небо обещает сильные дожди. A sky that cloudy guarantees heavy rain.

Many adjectives have an adverb derived from them that you need to know as well. The adverb formed from облачный is облачно. Adverbs are often used predicatively in Russian:

— Какая сегодня погода?
— Облачно.
"What's the weather like today?"
"It's cloudy."
Вчера было облачно. Yesterday it was cloudy.
Если завтра будет облачно, мы не пойдём в парк. If it is cloudy tomorrow, we won't go to the park


Comment from: Timo [Visitor]

Do Russians have tongue twisters? Looks like a tongue twister could be made from облако and яблоко. Any others?

Don responds: You bet. The first two that come to mind are:

Карл украл у Клары кораллы, а Клара украла у Карла кларнет.


Шла Саша по шоссе и сосала сушку.

Do the obvious Google search for more.

06/11/10 @ 14:00
Comment from: Andrey [Visitor]

There is another word for cloud: туча. It is used only when describing ugly clouds such as storm cloud or thundercloud. Besides, it can be used to describe a whole bunch of things, for example “У меня сегодня туча дел", “Там была огромная туча народу". It’s a kind of replacement word for куча.

06/11/10 @ 03:11

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